As a parent, you’ll already have figured out that there are pros and cons to having an entrepreneurially-minded child. They tend to think (and act) big and out the box, which is a wonderful thing, so long as they also remain rooted in reality. Here’s how to support them:
Encourage their dreams
Dreaming is part of coming up with good ideas, so give them time to do that. Encourage them to talk through their inspiration, and bear in mind that shutting them down can cause them to lose faith in themselves, which is the last thing you want.
Even if the idea is clearly not going to work, let them come to that conclusion themselves, and be sure to affirm them for coming up with it at all.
Expand their thinking
A large part of motivation (especially when things get tough) is knowing why you want to do something. Of course, making a lot of money is a big incentive. Help them to unpack some other reasons too though, for example, will their idea make people’s lives easier or more interesting? Will it reduce the load on our environment or other resources?
Understanding the greater impact of their idea is inspiring and also encourages them to broaden their perspective.
Help them learn from their mistakes
As they start to experiment with their ideas, of course they’ll make mistakes along the way. Keep their spirits up by reminding them that mistakes are part and parcel of the process of developing anything new. Most successful entrepreneurs have made at least a couple of mistakes, and many have made plenty, with some even failing the first or second time round!
The trick to realising their mistakes is in persevering, learning from the failure and then trying another approach next time.
Keep them real
Teens by their very nature can sometimes over-exaggerate things and hog all the glory. Did someone help them fine-tune the idea or give them financial assistance to help them develop it? Did they mess up somehow and try to blame someone else? Without dampening their spirit, encourage them to be completely honest and to acknowledge any assistance they receive by giving credit where it’s due.
For more ideas, consider becoming a Parent Supporter at Teen Entrepreneur. Although being the parent of a young entrepreneur may be frustrating at times, imagine how proud you’ll feel as your child begins to make a real difference in the world. It’s well worth it!